A New Home for Some of the Best and Brightest Bulls
Dec. 21, 2020
At the beginning of the year, USF unveiled plans for a modern green and gold beacon — the new home of the Judy Genshaft Honors College (JGHC), a learning and engagement hub for some of the brightest students at the University of South Florida.
In 2002 under the leadership of President Judy Genshaft, the existing USF “Honors Program” became an “Honors College.” Originally allocated a modest suite in the Student Services Building on the Tampa campus, the rapidly expanding college quickly outgrew that space and moved to larger quarters in the John and Grace Allen Building in 2011. Less than a decade later, the college is bursting at the seams again.
In May 2019, outgoing President Judy Genshaft and her husband, Steve Greenbaum, sought to address this challenge with an historic $20 million gift to name the college and partially fund the new on-campus home for the university’s many world-changing students.
“Having a world-class Honors College is just one more way USF will distinguish itself as one of the most elite and forward-thinking institutions in the world,” says Genshaft. “The Honors College is special because of its inclusiveness, representing the best and brightest students from all academic units across all of the USF campuses.”
Inspired by the college’s out-of-the-box teaching philosophy, the innovative 85,000 square foot glass-and-steel facility will feature many unique and flexible spaces for JGHC students to learn, collaborate and thrive.
“It is an absolute architectural marvel,” gushes philanthropist Claudia McCorkle, a longtime supporter of the college who is donating $1 million to help bring the vision to life. “The renderings are unbelievable. I can’t wait to see it completed!”
Located just north of the Muma College of Business on USF Genshaft Drive, the modern design will dazzle visitors with a five-story view of the heart of the building as they enter the atrium. Plans for the student-centric building include a wide-tiered amphitheater staircase, smart classrooms, a food and culture kitchen, art and music studios, multiple dynamic event spaces and much more.
In recognition of McCorkle’s unwavering support, the Student Leadership Center on the third floor will bear her name. Comprising a student lounge and conference room, the space provides an opportunity for student leaders to convene, collaborate and decompress between classes.
“The Honors College holds a special place in my heart,” shares McCorkle. “Being able to support these humble, high-achieving students has been my greatest joy as a philanthropist.”
As the university continues to secure private funding for the new facility, each and every gift is meaningful and brings us one step closer to building a better future for Judy Genshaft Honors College students.